MCP Expands Operations With Ikegami Cameras

Marvin Williams

NEW YORK—When it comes to producing world-class video in the heart of New York, we think that Manhattan Center Productions stands out as a unique facility. We operate from a huge complex in midtown that was founded by Oscar Hammerstein in 1906. As a result of his vision, we’ve been provided with some unparalleled in-house locations for shooting programs, including a 10,000-square foot ballroom, the Grand, and our historic exopera house, the Hammerstein.

In addition, we have two fully dedicated high-definition television studios which are seeing plenty of action this year.

With some major new clients coming on board, we needed to expand our equipment inventory, which consisted of 11 Ikegami HDK-720 and HDK-720p cameras. We ended up adding 10 new Ikegami HDK-97C cameras to our lineup.

The HDK-97C is part of Ikegami’s versatile Unicam HD line, and it provides a lot of features that have proven to be an ideal match for us.

One of our top priorities has been to transition to a 3G-based facility, and we’ve been working towards that with the installation of new video switchers and signal routers.

Ikegami’s HDK-97C cameras have fitted very nicely into that plan, as they feature a 3G fiber transmission system from the camera head back to the camera control unit.

In addition, the Ikegami CCU system also provides 3G transmission from the camera control unit back to the camera, which gives us three channels to use for prompter and vanity monitor video feeds, along with a return viewfinder video feed which can be selected from any of four sources.

As you can imagine, at a production complex the size of the MCP facility our crews and control rooms can sometimes get spread pretty thin. That’s why the HDK-97C’s compatibility with the Ikegami 200-series network control panels proved to be a really big benefit for us.

Ikegami’s OCP-200 camera control panels work with any of our camera chains at any of the video control locations anywhere in the Manhattan Center. Productions facility. We can make an assignment of the operator control panel directly through its color touchscreen LCD panel interface, making it very easy to use.

Of course, the imagery that the cameras produce is really first and foremost in our business, and from our prior experience with our other Ikegami camera products we knew that we could always expect crisp, clean,and beautiful video from them.

At the heart of the HDK-97C’s 3G-SDI performance is its three 2.5 megapixel 2/3-inch CMOS image sensors. This imaging system supports a number of native high-definition television and 3G formats, including 1080p/59.94.

The performance of this system provides us with a look that appeals to our operators as much as it does to our clients.

And getting back to operational flexibility considerations, these new cameras can serve as backups to our HDK-720’s if this should be required, as the HDK- 97Cs can directly interface with the 720 CCU’s at a moment’s notice. That means they’re ready to go into operation very quickly and very easily anywhere on our network—and that’s really no small consideration when you’re operating in a television production faciliy that’s as large as ours.

Marvin Williams is the director of video engineering and operations for Manhattan Center Productions. He may be contacted

For aditional information, contact Ikegami at 201-368-9171 or